Neurofeedback training is a promising treatment for ADHD (attention deficit /hyperactivity disorder)
Treatment for ADHD can involve tackling multiple areas of the brain in order to stimulate an improvement in cognition and the biomarkers of an ADHD diagnosis. Neurofeedback training has been tested as one possible treatment for ADHD patients, and found to improve many deficient or impaired areas in cognition, by regulating theta and beta wave activity.
The effectiveness of neurofeedback training for ADHD was evaluated In a clinical study in which 23 subjects aged between 8-19 years underwent neurofeedback training, 5 days a week for a period of 2 to 3 months.
It was found that the ADHD patients improved their score in three tests, from which the results are used to diagnose or rule out ADHD. These are:
1) T.O.V.A scores, a test that measures the key components of attention and self-control, variability (consistency), response time (speed), commissions (impulsivity), and omissions (focus and vigilance)
2) parent ratings criterion
3) Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) in which children are tested for their Verbal Scale and a Performance Scale. The six Verbal Scale tests use language-based items, whereas the seven Performance Scales use visual-motor items that are less dependent on language.
This study on neurofeedback training consisted of 50 minute sessions in which subjects had a Electroencephalogram (EEG) Test to Measure Brain Electrical Activity, which was obtained from Bipolar etrectrodes placed in areas of the brain responsible for sensory association cortex, attention shifting and perseverance, self- awareness, orientation association area and frontal eye fields, focus and action observation, and ground electrode was placed in the ear lobe.
How does neurofeedback training works to treat ADHD patients?
Some studies have suggested that ADHD is a neurological disorder may be caused by three neurological activities:
1)decreased arousal and associated with decreased noradrenergic activity
2) increased slow 4-8 hz. theta activity in frontal and central cortical regions
3)decreased glucose metabolism in both frontal cortical and certain subcortical regions
The EGG- based thetha/beta neurofeedback training aims at reducing theta and enhancing beta activity. Thus addressing tonic aspects of cortical activation
A recent study established that neurofeedback training was a feasible treatment and that for any behavioural improvements at least 20 training sessions are required.